Is The Communist Manifesto Misunderstood?


In college, I was surprised when an honest and charitable philosophy professor I very much admired claimed that Karl Marx is misunderstood. Marx would not have supported communism as we have known it, he told me. What was seen at the hands of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, or even Gorbachev was not communism as Marx envisioned it.

Next week, Ubisoft will release the next grand episode in its popular series of historical playgrounds, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. Because the overarching theme of the Assassin’s Creed series (about as philosophically consistent as Star Wars) is a conflict between the freedom-loving Assassins and conspiring Templar oppressors, the game’s setting in Victorian London will emphasize struggles for power among the classes of industrial British society.

Is my professor’s claim about Karl Marx and his Communist Manifesto just the same dangerous delusion that has made forced redistribution of property and flattening of culture the foundation of the Democratic Party? Or were the published ideas of Marx distorted and misapplied by people who wanted communism to be something fundamentally different?

What should students learn about Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and the The Communist Manifesto? Is that the true origin of communism?

Published in Economics
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  1. Could be Anyone Member
    Could be Anyone

    Jordan Wiegand:Glorious.

    I’m a big fan of EU4 and CK2 myself. Trying to move into HoI 3 but that game makes EU4 look like Civ 5 game.

    HOI3 is somewhat scripted and this means that only certain nations can more or less succeed. Unlike their more recent games the HOI series always relied on a faction based system with technically only 4 different choices (Comintern, Fascism, Democracy, and yourself without any allies), which meant that you couldn’t really conquer the world solo under most circumstances (especially under the normal year limit from 12 years, from 36-48; although you can change time limits in the Define LUA file; end date 1995).

    That and the core system limited the resources gathered from territories you took in war unless you already had a core claim and core claims could not be created like they are in EUIV.

    That said, HOI3 is a complex game but its very satisfying when you finally master the game. Conquering the world as China, Germany, or the USSR can be very enjoyable (Nationalist China in particular because they are the only non major faction you can turn into a first rate world power by the end of 1948 and by around 1953 you can go to war with the west if you joined the Cominterm, they deal with the UK, I get the USA) and challenging but its fun changing history.

    Glad to know there is someone else that enjoys grand strategy.

    • #91
  2. viruscop Member

    Could be Anyone:

    My point being, I guess, that not all video games support a leftist bend. Many, at least in grand strategy and RTS games, do a good job of showing a neutral (and in some degrees a right wing) bend, especially grand strategy games since they force you into a struggle for your civilization/faction’s existence.

    I recommend Darkest Hour: A Hearts of Iron Game

    I don’t think philosophy is really the point of any video game. Assassin’s Creed is an incoherent mess in terms of plot, despite ACI and ACII being very interesting. I doubt that the developers really intend on pushing some message. Mass Effect also doesn’t really have much to do with philosophy either. Yes, there is morality system, but so what. It isn’t deep or complex. The moral choices in that game hardly merit much thought one way or the other, and everyone is very accepting of this or that characteristic of someone in the game because the developers want to sell their product.

    Ditto for the Bioshock games, which end up just being whatever the player wants to imagine in terms of philosophical or moral depth.

    The Paradox games are just aiming for the niche grand strategy market, and so they give as much depth as possible without overwhelming the player with minutiae. They are not trying to make anyone have a particular world view.

    • #92
  3. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto

    Well I hope you’re all happy.  I’ve reinstalled both KOTOR games.

    • #93
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